29-year-old cancer survivor set to be youngest American in space

"They basically said, 'Do you want to go to space?'" says 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux, recounting the moment she was offered a seat on the first all-civilian mission into Earth's orbit. The healthcare worker who survived bone cancer as a child is set to become the youngest American to go to space when she blasts off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Inspiration4 mission. Memphis-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where Arceneaux was treated for cancer and now works, got a seat from billionaire Jared Isaacman, who paid for the mission. "I really hope to inspire patients going through cancer treatment and other survivors that anything is possible," Arceneaux says.

Video Transcript

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HAYLEY ARCENEAUX: So I got a phone call pretty much out of the blue in early January, and it was from St. Jude, and they told me the background on the mission, and then they basically said, do you want to go to space? And immediately I said, yes, yes, absolutely. I actually got to visit NASA in Houston a few months before I was diagnosed with cancer. And whenever I got to see where the astronauts trained, of course I wanted to be an astronaut.

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JARED ISAACMAN: So that's probably the most exciting part of this mission, is that we are opening up this crew selection process to everyday people. You have folks walking around today that they don't realize, in 30 days from now, they're going to get fitted for a spacesuit.